A ‘certificate specialist’
A prominent figure in the party that claims the ‘mentally ill’ should not have the same rights as the ‘healthy’ ones is a public hospital psychiatrist.
Costas Paraschakis, Golden Dawn candidate for Lasithi is also treating Themis Skordeli, to whom in fact he had given a certification with which she has been deferring her impending trial. And as if this was not enough, he is accused by his colleagues of distributing certificates of mental health to Golden Dawn members who sought to obtain licenses for carrying firearms!
‘Individuals with hereditary issues, such as paranoiacs, mentally retarded, schizophrenics, epileptics, those with mutated genes, the incurably alcoholic, addicted and others must be subjected to sterilization. Natural selection, sterilization and euthanasia, are right if combined with serious legal warrants, responsible medical control and a biological moral basis’.
This is Golden Dawn’s view published in one of their webpages on ecology. Given these inadmissible views, one would not expect to find a doctor, let alone a psychiatrist in its ranks. And yet there is one. He is called Costis Paraschakis, psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Hospital of Athens, in Daphni, and he was a candidate with Michaloliakos’ party for Lasithi in the 2010 local elections as well as in the 2012 national elections.
Golden Dawn’s psychiatrist has been accused by his colleagues for his open pro-junta views. During a TV talk show where he was invited speaker, he declared: ‘I, as Costas Paraschakis, appeal to the active military personnel to take to the arms. And the Greek people will be with them’.
For the views expressed in the course of the show, the National Radio-Television Council gave a fine of 15,000 euros. It is not, however, the only issue for which he has been accused. In a letter sent in May 2012 by the Director of the 9th psychiatric clinic Theodoros Megalooikonomou, Paraschakis was alleged ‘to ‘have given two certificates for firearm permits to some individuals whose looks, as it was said, drew some “attention”’, something that openly raised the issue of firearms permits.
”It is my view that issuing firearms permits, especially during this period of increased social violence by individuals or groups not only related to the so-called crime, but also by political groups, whose nazi political orientation is based on social hatred and murderous violence, should become the object of attention on the part of the competent authorities of the Psychiatric Hospital of Athens, and there have to be some restrictions’, Mr Megalooikonomou had noted. ‘Can a psychiatrist, without much consideration, adopt a ‘neutral’ and ‘procedural’ stance, while also being a guarantor (before the law and society) of the ‘right’ and ‘self-controlled’ use of firearms, simply by examining someone who walked in their private practice one single time, that is, by distributing certificates to whoever asks for them, without being subject to any control?’, he asks.
Psychiatrists are proven right
The issue of distributing certificates of mental health for firearm permits has also been under scrutiny by the Greek Psychiatric Association, which resolved that ‘psychiatry and psychiatrists have neither the knowledge nor the means to establish whether an individual is fit for carrying a firearm or any other lethal intstrument, and they are even less competent for guaranteeing that an individual shall react under all circumstances according to the law or established conceptions of what is right and moral. The incapacity of making such judgments is reinforced in conditions characterized by lack of social solidarity, affective imaciation, ridiculing of ideals and moral discount, questioning of institutions and political poverty and everyday worsening phenomema of irrational and not rarely homicidal violence.’
The recent events whereby the handgun of Golden Dawn MP, Antonis Gregos, was accidentally discharged at the airport, but also the incident with MP Germenis at the Municipality of Athens, confirm the view of the doctors. However, one year after Th. Megalooikonomou’s allegations, when the director maintained that something has to be done, the case went to the archive.Mr. Paraschakis claimed that ‘the said day he received a phonecall by two familiar persons (Mr. Zisimopoulos and mr. Mpoukouras, both GD representatives) for a customary visit. He agreed to meet with them and when they asked him for information regarding issuing a certificate he explained to them the relevant procedure and they left without him giving them any certificate’. The Directory Board accepted his version of the story.
The ‘indignant’ suffering from depression and self-destructive behaviour
The most surprising intervention, however, of mr. Paraschakis is the medical assessment report he gave to the ‘indignant’ resident of Agios Panteleimonas and GD candidate Themis Skordeli. The parliamentary candidate has been accused with attempted homicide of an Afghan immigrant in December 2011.
The defendant however has presented the medical assessment report issued by psychiatrist C. Paraschakis, according to which she suffers from ‘depression and self-destructive behaviour’.
With this certificate, issued roughly during the same time as the murder on the 9th of December 2011, Th. Skordeli, managed to secure a number of deferrals numbering a total of 7! Her mental state, however, does not prevent her from being a Golden Dawn candidate in the elections.
It is worth mentioning that it is at least ‘paradoxical’ that in the same party – whatever party this would be – both the psychiatrist and his patient, run for public office. Especially when the party does not accept that the ‘mentally ill’ have rights equal to the ‘healthy’ ones.
On his Facebook page, C. Paraschakis has a picture of N. Michaloliakos. The face of the ‘leader’ figures centrally in his posts and so do pictures and videos from GD events. In another picture, they are side by side with Eleni Zaroulia, N. Michaloliakos and Ilias Panagiotaros, probably in the psychiatrist’s house.
The posted videos from GD events are also telling as he can be clearly seen to salute in a Nazi way, something that is at least at odds with his capacity as a doctor.
[Article translated from ‘To Ethnos’ newspaper, 14 June 2013. Available online at: http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=63843642]